261 Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We did the Eastern Caribbean tour on Symphony. It was a good cruise, the ship did not feel that crowded, some lines but they typically moved fast. Service was mediocre, crew was not very pleasant and bar service was pretty slow. ... Read More
We did the Eastern Caribbean tour on Symphony. It was a good cruise, the ship did not feel that crowded, some lines but they typically moved fast. Service was mediocre, crew was not very pleasant and bar service was pretty slow. Food was also mediocre, but not bad and not great (except for Lobster night, Lobster night was great!). We got a good value out of the drink package as drinks are at least $8 each. Perfect Day was a fun beach day, but felt a little rushed. Got off at 10:30, found a chair, had a couple of drinks then head to lunch then swimming with the pigs. Got back for one hour of beach (nap) time then boarded for early dining (late dining would have had another hour on the island). If you want good pool chairs on sea day, get ther by 7:30 am on day 1 and then 7:00 am each following sea day. If you want any pool chair and are not picky about your location, you can sleep in for another hour, but everything is gone by 9 am. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I do not like RCL. I simply don't like how they do things. Nevertheless, my Mother who is Diamond on RCL said I should experience an Oasis Class Ship at least once in my life so off we went. While some things were good it was ... Read More
I do not like RCL. I simply don't like how they do things. Nevertheless, my Mother who is Diamond on RCL said I should experience an Oasis Class Ship at least once in my life so off we went. While some things were good it was generally a terrible experience. I will try to cover both in my review. Our cabin was one of those that had a balcony facing the inside of the ship. If we never left Miami I wouldn't have known it because it was like staying in a hotel. There is no Promenade Deck so you don't see water unless you are seated near a window in the restaurant or if you are on top of the ship. The pool deck is all windowed in so you must go higher to breathe the Ocean air. We got to our cabin and there was no remote for the TV. We made several attempts to contact guest services but nobody ever answered the telephone. Eventually our cabin steward came to the rescue. The cabin was adequate except for the tiny safe provided. Our cabin attendant was excellent and kept the cabin spotless. The main problem with this ship is that there are over 6000 passengers and not enough facilities for all of them. There were lines and more lines for everything. Sea days on the pool deck were monotonous. All of the complimentary dining options were always packed with lines. We chose anytime dining for the main dining room and there was always a line to get in. We tried making reservations but the tables we wanted were always booked and many times nobody showed up even though they were reserved. The serving staff in the main dining rooms for dinner are for the most part very good. Not so great for other meals. The dining room management is a confused mess. We reserved a table one evening only to arrive at the time we were told to arrive to find the table occupied. We found Symphony to be an unorganized jumble. If you go be prepared for a constant wait for elevators and if someone is in a wheelchair not many people can fit in.The food is awful. Both of us contracted some type of illness from the food on the second night. The food in the Windjammer is like pig slop. The bright spot on this ship is the shows. We did not much care for Hiro but Hairspray, Flight, and the Ice show were terrific although there were several cancellations due to technical problems. In one case we were informed our show had a new starting time and we went there 45 minutes early to get a decent seat. After sitting there all that time the cruise director announced the show could not go on. This happened with three different shows during the week. Make sure you reserve. Another thing I disliked is their towel procedure of having to sign out and in towels. I much prefer having them available in my stateroom like other cruise lines do. My biggest complaint was the unavailability of ocean air or views of the water. No wake view on this ship. I much prefer the older ships of other cruise lines that carry less passengers where things are manageable. Because of the amount of people and screaming kids everywhere it was not very enjoyable. Coco Cay is perhaps the worst of the private Islands I have visited. I couldn't care less about the new water park (additional charge) and there is a 12% value fee for anything purchased on the island. The swimming areas are like man made lagoons rather then open Ocean. This must be great if you have kids but for adults it wasn't too exciting. Everything on Symphony is an additional charge and all of the activities are geared toward purchases. You cannot even get a decent movie on TV without paying for it. As far as the zip line and slides that is all great if you have kids but for seniors it's not very important. I didn't like RCL before and I have cruised with them a few times but after this I would rather stay home then go on Symphony again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have done all the other Oasis class ships and since it was my husbands birthday choose Symphony because it was the exact week. This was our 33rd cruise, we sail on Royal and Celebrity. First off we loved the decor of the ships, our ... Read More
We have done all the other Oasis class ships and since it was my husbands birthday choose Symphony because it was the exact week. This was our 33rd cruise, we sail on Royal and Celebrity. First off we loved the decor of the ships, our room 12290 was great. Loved the location, it had 2 nice size closets and plenty of space for everything. Our room stewart Ferry was excellent. The show were very good, however 2 of them had technical difficulties and were delayed. The service in WJ and restaurants was good, however the waiters have to run to keep up. Bars at times were a little slow. The food was below par. We ate at Hooked, would not recommend it at all. Our lobster was over cooked, however my salmon was perfect. Not worth the money. Solarium Bistro again not that great. The dining room was hit and miss. Sometimes it was ok, other times not very tasty. It seems they have cut way back on putting any kind of spices in the food, very bland. The desserts all over the ship were terrible. No flavor at all. If you were blindfolded and given a dessert you wouldn't be able to tell what it was. The Windjammer was ok, enough choices but you ate a cold meal. Hamburgers on the ship were terrible. We tried them in the WJ, on CocoCay and at Johnny Rockets, nasty! We called them mystery meat....The selection of food on CocoCay was better than ever, plenty to choose from. We being in our 60's could care about going to CocoCay again. It's a family, kids kind of place now. With 6000 people on it not enjoyable. We miss the old, quiet CocoCay. So we will not do any ship this size again. The ship was also very cold everywhere you went. I was happy when day 7 came. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had never even considered going on a cruise before now, but after an introduction to the Symphony of the Seas from watching Instagram posts and stories from two of our favourite Dancing on Ice professionals, our interest was sparked. ... Read More
We had never even considered going on a cruise before now, but after an introduction to the Symphony of the Seas from watching Instagram posts and stories from two of our favourite Dancing on Ice professionals, our interest was sparked. My wife and I are fans of the TV show Dancing on Ice and follow several their professional skaters on Instagram. Carlotta Edwards Demetriou and Alex Demetriou are professional ice skaters who appeared on the UK series Dancing on Ice and they also took a contract on Symphony of the Seas, appearing in the ship’s Ice-Skating shows. We saw amazing videos and pictures of this amazing ship and not knowing many people who have been on a cruise and having never been on one ourselves, we were a little naive about what facilities were available so were really impressed by what we saw. We started to look into this amazing ship and could not believe how much there was to do onboard. After watching some YouTube videos showing tours of the ship, we were really excited and managed to get a good deal on a cruise leaving Miami for the West Caribbean on our 17th Wedding Anniversary, 28th September 2019. The trip to Miami Getting to Miami from Manchester airport required a stop in Atlanta and involved a flight with Virgin Atlantic to Atlanta then with Delta to Miami. The Virgin Atlantic flight was over 7 hours but felt very much longer and was uncomfortable due to the narrowest seats I’ve even sat in on any plane which was very disappointing. The entertainment system was terrible, the touchscreens caused a constant noise of people tutting and tapping the screen really hard trying to get it to respond everywhere you looked. The staff were great, and the food and service were great. Theses old 747-400 airplanes used for this transatlantic crossing are due to be replaced by a new fleet of Airbus A350-1000, the sooner the better in my opinion. Our onward flight from Atlanta to Miami was delayed but once over the frustration, the flight was much more comfortable in a more modern Airbus with modern touchscreen entertainment system that worked flawlessly. A word about US Border and Customs Protection I remember from a trip as a child with my parents to Orlando Florida, back in 1991, being intimidated and scared by the Border Protection officers in the airport. I completely support and understand why we have to be extremely thorough and careful these days more than ever, but I cannot believe it has to be done in such a rude and arrogant manner. We were all shouted at all the way through customs and immigration and mocked if we didn’t know if for example a watch needed to go through the x-ray machine or not. I was shouted at for putting my laptop in a tray as instructed, because there was something else in the x-ray tray already? Like I said, I understand that this needs to be done but I was really shocked by how rude many of these people were to tourists coming to spend large chunks of their disposable income in their country! This experience reminded me of the long-forgotten experience when I was a child. Sorry, to digress but I felt that I need to mention this as I know people who refuse to go back because they were treated so rudely at this point so at least if you read this before you go, are at least forewarned to what you might face. Stepping Onboard the Ship The minute we stepped inside the impressive new Royal Caribbean terminal at Miami to board the ship, things really started to change. We were treated completely professionally, efficiently and very politely and welcomed onboard very quickly without too much fuss. Stepping onboard the actual ship, despite watching every available video tour of the ship on YouTube, the real thing was even more impressive than we could have imagined. It’s true what you read before you go, your holiday starts as soon as you step aboard. Within minutes we were ordering our first Cocktails at the Bionic Bar using an iPad and watching them being made by robots. We took a walk around the Grand Parade and helped ourselves to the first few items of all-inclusive food such as slices of pizza and from the Boardwalk Doghouse stall for Hotdogs. We felt that the ship had an ingenious design where the different entertainment venues were spread out across the ship and on different floors. This meant that the heavy density of travellers were distributed across the ship rather than congregated in one central ‘entertainment’ area so it didn’t feel too crowded at any point. We never had to queue long for anything really. During the sunny days at sea we thought we may struggle to get loungers but they are spread out across a couple of decks overlooking the pools so we could always find a quiet spot to pitch up. Entertainment Our initial interest in this cruise was sparked by Professional Ice skaters that were working a contract onboard. There were 2 ice skating shows onboard, 1977 and Ice Skate 2.0 We went to both these shows and both were brilliant. I was especially blown away by the unexpected synchronised drone display at the beginning of 1977, super impressive! Hiro is an Aqua show that instantly became my favourite part of the entertainment onboard when I first saw it. From the pre-show part where performers suddenly appear from under the water to the high divers and the high slack line walkers, this show is over 50 minutes of not knowing where to look so you don’t miss the action. We were so impressed with this show we watched it twice and were lucky enough to catch the performers tirelessly practicing during the day too for added entertainment. These guys work hardf and it shows in their super slick death defying performances Hairspray and Flight were the 2 shows in the main Theatre, and both of these were great. The individual performers that popped up in the many bars were also of a really good calibre and we especially liked the piano player Andy C in the Schooner bar. In summary there is always something to do, the entertainments staff were top notch and the quality of all the performances and performers was superb. Staff Either any member of staff not found to be smiling and saying hello to guests were taken behind the scenes and electrocuted, or they are all genuinely just polite friendly and helpful. Whichever it is they are all lovely and seem to not be able to do enough to help you. Food To summarise, Infinite choice and excellent quality! There really is something for everybody onboard. The only paid option we chose was Johnny Rockets which was great value. Personally, I just could not justify the extra spend in the speciality dining options like Chops Grill and Jamies’s Itallian when the inclusive options are so good. We didn’t try any of them so can’t comment from experience, but I heard from other passengers that Chops Grill was very good but only ever heard bad reviews of Jamie’s Italian. We only went to the Main Dining Room once, we preferred the choice, availability, speed and convenience of the self-serve options like the Windjammer Marketplace. There was nothing wrong with the experience really, it just seemed that a 3-course meal we had wait for didn’t offer as much choice or convenience as filling your plate with as much a variety of foods as you liked! We often went to El Loco Fresh or the Solarium Bistro for breakfast as they wee quieter and offered an alternative to the Windjammer which was busier at breakfast than any other time. El loco Fresh offered different choices like Ranchero Eggs which were amazing! Drinks We resisted the drinks packages right up until about 2 weeks before travel when the price went down by about 10% At first I thought this was still too expensive but looking back it was a must have and saved us a lot of money. Once you had the drinks package you could get pretty much anything you wanted including the $13 cocktails available. The other perk was that we could get 2 bottled water from anywhere serving drinks for each card so we got 4 at a time when leaving the ship for example to save having to pay over the odds for water in the ports. Each venue had it’s own cocktail list but the staff were so accommodating they would make you anything you asked for whether it was on the menu or not. I think we tried most of the cocktails on offer any our favourites were the Pina Colada and the Strawberry Daiquiri Excursions The excursions were very expensive, and we simply could not afford most of them after paying the cruise itself, the airfare, transfers, hotel costs etc We did go on a glass bottom boat tour from Coco Cay which was $42 each and I have to say this was well worth the money. We were out for around 1.5 hours and the boat had a diver onboard so when we saw something, he would dive down and retrieve it for us to look at Ports of call We stopped at Roatan, Puerto Costa Maya, Cozumel and Perfect Day at CocoCay We’ve never been to any of the places or countries before so it was great to visit them but without paying for an excursion, there wasn’t really much to do at most of them. The one exception was Perfect Day at Coco Cay, this island is a true paradise island and teaming with wildlife. The Glass Bottom Boat tour was brilliant, and we also hired a Kayak and paddled around the coastline. There were fish everywhere and a massive Sting Ray inches from my feet. We also swam up to a floating bar at beach for one of the most rewarding and relaxing bottles of beer possible, you didn’t need any cash or your SeaPass, just your room number! Summary This turned out to be the best holiday we’ve ever had and certainly convinced us to start looking for our next cruise. I only hope we haven’t spoiled things by starting too big and going on the biggest cruise ship in the world with such fantastic facilities and entertainment, our next cruise sure does have a lot of work to do to compete with this one! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This ship Symphony of the Seas does not offer luggage valet. This is the only ship that I had experienced no valet. The ship was beautiful. I have been on Oasis, Allure, Harmony and now Symphony and they are basically all the same. ... Read More
This ship Symphony of the Seas does not offer luggage valet. This is the only ship that I had experienced no valet. The ship was beautiful. I have been on Oasis, Allure, Harmony and now Symphony and they are basically all the same. The best part was the behind the scenes tour. I paid for it but it was well worth it. I felt the windjammer did not have a great selection of food. I have been on 19 Royal Caribbean Cruises and I felt this one was lacking If you play in the casino the machines were average. A lot of jackpots, not me of course. The casino was clean and spacious. Embarkment was a little hectic, lots of lines.It was not organized but when you found the correct line it went fast. Central Park was open for lunch so I didn’t have to fight the windjammer Disembarkment was smooth. No security, they took your picture and we were off. We left to get off ship at 8:30. By 9 am we were at the airport and by our gate. Enjoy but remember no luggage valet Coco Cay was amazing Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First can't fault much about the ship it's self only the staff seem to look after the american Porto rican and costa rican guest well and ignore the European guest. Did not like how the suite guest were treated like royalty and ... Read More
First can't fault much about the ship it's self only the staff seem to look after the american Porto rican and costa rican guest well and ignore the European guest. Did not like how the suite guest were treated like royalty and us common guest look down on. The food had a great choice every service but the quality i have had better on smaller ships. The service was not as good and what put me off the most when sitting down to dinner in the evening all very posh until you asked for a coffee after your meal and it got served in a mug not a cup as on most ships very strange. The cabins were very nice and clean and comfortable only saw our cabin steward once the whole week. The entertainment very good and lots of choices. The main thing i dislike with the company at Miami was embarkation and the worse one was disembarkation was like a mass of people all fight and pushing to get off and we ordered an lyft taxi from the port waited over 2 hours for it to arrive they had sent 6 different cars to us all were stuck in a mess traffic jam into the port nightmare. A very expensive ship and the service i have had better of other cruise lines . I have done royal Caribbean now and would not do again ship to big and not for us Europeans. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
12 family members cruised on the Symphony on 9/14/19 - we had a great experience. The ship is so large you barely feel any sea movement. We never felt crowded. Getting on and off in Miami was a breeze. The ship is like a floating city - ... Read More
12 family members cruised on the Symphony on 9/14/19 - we had a great experience. The ship is so large you barely feel any sea movement. We never felt crowded. Getting on and off in Miami was a breeze. The ship is like a floating city - amazing. The crew bends over backwards for guests. Our cabin person Katie Lee was excellent - the children (4 under4!) all loved her. I would definitely cruise on the ship again. We took the alcohol package but struggled to meet our quota. We always asked for bottled water with every cocktail and love the fresh squeezed orange juice. I only ate at the Japanese steak house - the kids loved the performance - and the food was good. Another party ate at Chops and loved it. Daycare was utilized and much appreciated. We did the Gumbalimba Park tour and liked it very much. We were the only ship in port so it wasn't crowed. Lots of nature to see there. Also did the Uchben Kah Raft, Swim & Lunch and enjoyed that very much. The raft is bamboo and you are poled down an estuary in the lagoon. I didn't see as many birds as I would have liked - could hear them but they refused to show themselves - but we all loved the serene ride. When we go to the lunch we swam and the water was lovely but water shoes are a must as it is rocky. Lots of birds beside the restaurant. We just grabbed a cab to Cozumel and did some shopping along the strip. Cococay was very good. I was disappointed that the nature trail is now a tram road. Everyone enjoyed the Lagoon and there were plenty of chairs. The beach was also nice. I wish there was more nature to be found there but still enjoyed it. The shows were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first time back on Royal in 12 years. Our last Royal Cruise was a very very disappointing time. Our son and his wive gave us a wonderful family trip with our grandchildren. We had seven wonderful days of fun. The staff was ... Read More
This was our first time back on Royal in 12 years. Our last Royal Cruise was a very very disappointing time. Our son and his wive gave us a wonderful family trip with our grandchildren. We had seven wonderful days of fun. The staff was extremely nice and very helpful with anything we needed. This is my 23rd Cruise and have never been treated so well. The only problem I had was the food was bad in most of the restaurants. Chops the fine dining was great. We had a window cabin, which I would not recommend for 4 people. Embarkation was the best I have ever had, fast and very efficient, disembarkation went just as smooth. Every cruise line should disembark this way. Our luggage was on a carousel like at a airport, this made it very easy. Over all I may try Royal again. We are Platinum with NCL, so it is very hard for me to use another cruise line. Dona Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were asked by a group of friends, 8 in total, to join them on this cruise. We had cruised before with 6 others before on 3 other cruises and had a great time. This was our first time on a Oasis type ship and The Symphony is a thing of ... Read More
We were asked by a group of friends, 8 in total, to join them on this cruise. We had cruised before with 6 others before on 3 other cruises and had a great time. This was our first time on a Oasis type ship and The Symphony is a thing of beauty . We are Diamond Plus so we have seen a few ships and love that feeling you get when you first get on if you get that WOW feeling. The Symphony "almost" gave us that feeling, I guess the similarity to some of the other ships, only bigger came to mind. Let me start with the POSITIVES: Embarkation: What a breeze! We got to the curbside around 11:00 am, bags to the porter in about 2 minutes and off to the races getting on. We went up some escalators and saw people directing us to people with iPads, we handed Sea Pass information, took some pictures, and BOOM, we are on the ship at 11:20. So it's time to go meet this new lady. Entertainment: I would say that this was the highlight of the week. We went to all of the shows. Hiro was excellent, Flight was also excellent, 1977 (Ice Show) was also fabulous, and Hairspray was good (my least favorite but the actors really tried). I believe that Royal has upgraded their entertainment considerably in musical, dance, and talent in general over the years. On the same note, the singer in the Schooner Bar was fantastic, there was a strolling piano player that was great, also a classical guitar player from Cuba that also was wonderful....she also played in the English Pub. Specialty Dining: We bought a 3 night package so had the opportunity to eat at Hooked which was delightful, 150 Central Park which was our highlight of the trip, and Jamie's which was our least favorite. We also had My Time Dining - This began as a real problem since 2 couples were on reservations from a TA and 2 couples were on reservations from Royal. We were unable to reserve a table for 8 online because of Royal's "rules" so we could only link the reservations and get 2 reservations at the same time and wait until we got onboard to fix the problem. Thanks to the Head Waiter and the Maître D', we got this fixed and had a great time at the same table each evening....average food but a good time. Solarium Bistro: We found this restaurant to be our absolute go-to place for breakfast, lunch and even evening dinner once. Most times it was quiet, great views off the bow of the ship and even though is was a buffet, the food seemed to be a step up from the Windjammer. AVERAGE THINGS: Windjammer: I may be unfair here since we were only in the Windjammer twice but both times it was very crowded, the food was picked over and seemed only warm at best and not really appealing. Several food stations but several seemed to overlap with the same things. The only really good thing were the French Fries. Cabin: We were in a Jr. Suite on Deck 12. We normally book at least a Jr. Suite or better but since our sailing mates were in a balcony on Deck 12 we tried to stay close. The size was OK, closet OK, but where there used to be drawers - only shelves (like next to the bed). Safe was small, so we had to cram our valuables inside. We were on the bump so the balcony was nice but our bathroom was a challenge. We had a tub with a shower that only had a glass enclosure that partially enclosed the tub so you had to crowd up to the showerhead to shower so water did not get all over the floor. Door to the cabin was the hardest thing to open I have ever seen. I had to give it the old shoulder bump every time. Bars: While there are bars everywhere, it just seemed that they were understaffed most times of the day. At some times, there may be 15-20 people being served by 1 bar staffer and yes they tried to do their best but times were slow. We had a drink package so maybe this is an effort to control the use of the package.....just saying. Just so you know we always tip a little extra each time. HO HUM THINGS: Itinerary: St. Kitts & St. Thomas we have been to several times so do you stay on the ship and get to know her a little better or find something different to do on the island. Well we opted to go to a Resort on St. Kitts and it was a pretty good day with the exception that the water was murky from Dorian so we spent the day in their pool. It was nice but so was their bar bill. In St. Thomas we went on a walking tour, little did we know that the temperature would be a blazing 98 degrees, almost lost it with little shade. However none of this was the fault of the ship except taking us there. CocoCay was a nice surprise. Disembarkation: We had a fairly early flight so we grabbed a quick bite from the Windjammer and headed down. Elevators were a nightmare, people were going up to go down (typical), but we finally got to where we needed to be, got a porter, found our bags, thru security and headed to Uber. Oops, maybe should have gotten a taxi....after a 45 minute wait our Uber showed, then off to MIA. NOT SO GOOD THINGS: Reservations: First time making reservations for everything online. Didn't know what to expect but soon found out. Reservations for the show at 8:00pm meant you really needed to be at your reservation by no later than 7:45pm....but wait, there is a line of people that also have reservations for the same show that have already been in line since 7:15pm so at 7:45pm you might not make your reservation at 8. So when you made your reservation for dinner at 6pm, thinking you would have 2 hours to eat (like on other ships and then go to the show), WRONG. So it's a hurry, hurry, hurry, eat real early, go get in line, wait, wait, sit and wait, sit and wait, watch the show, go to bed exhausted. This went on for a week. Being unfamiliar with the reservations thing and how it worked, my wife and I walked off the ship just exhausted, not just the normal "tired", after a great week onboard. Cabin Attendant: We finally met our attendant on day 4. Nice enough guy, he kept our cabin clean, clean towels but we never had any ice, however we did get a WOW envelope the night before departure asking for an additional tip. Nice of him, as we never had anything to write with to leave him a note. First time ever. Photo Department: We had several pictures taken. Went to look at them on the last day and selected 2 from our Diamond Plus package. We were told to come back at 6 pm to pick them up....came back at 6 pm on the way to dinner...not ready, come back at 10pm. Went back at 10pm, waited in a line for 45 minutes where 1 person was trying to check out everyone (must have been 200 people in there). Nope, not ready. Talked to a manager, most apologetic, said they would be ready at 6am or he would have them delivered to my cabin, I opted to have them delivered. Never got the pictures!!! Spa: Went in for the $99 special message on the Diamond Plus Package, reserved a time. Went in at the appointed time and the therapist finally came out 30 minutes late to get me. I told her that I had some areas that needed some special attention and to be more gentle in those areas, reminded again, reminded again. Thank God the session was over. Bill came, $139 less 20% Diamond Plus...lets go talk to Management....refused to pay more than $99 special because it came with a 20% discount as well. Finally gave up...I will take it up with Royal directly. Diamond Lounge: The Lounge was always slammed with no overflow options. Many evenings I went down before 5pm and there were no seats available, waited a while and left. Other times I went down and maybe one seat was available or there was a table for 4 available then I sat there and almost immediately someone came in and took the chairs. Not one evening did I get to sit with my wife for a drink before dinner. GENERAL THOUGHTS: This ship is lovely but big. It is not the size ship for my wife and I so we will not be going on an Oasis Class Ship again. The people on her are just like the people everywhere, there are chair hogs but this ship seems to patrol a little better. I call them "elevator rushers", but this ship seemed to have more of them trying to rush on the elevators before people got off than I have seen before, however I did like the color bar above the active ones (green for up, red for down). I liked the washing stations, better ways to keep your hands clean however saw a lot of people not using them. I liked the Solarium but there was no air moving in there. One thing that I noticed on the Symphony vs. other ships we have been on is everything seems to be "inside" on this ship (very few outside decks except on top), where on other ships there are more outside decks like on deck 4 & 5 then the top decks as well. My wife mentioned (she is a smoker), that the smoking areas are so cramped and crowded it was uncomfortable for her to enjoy her time there and meet people....she just grabbed a quick smoke and left. Let me also say that I have never seen so many tank tops, ball caps, bathing suits with cover-ups, shorts and flip-flops in the Main Dining Room for dinner in all of my life, formal nights included. There were a few tuxes, suits, some sports coats but those were in the 5% range. Call me old fashioned, but I would not eat in the Main Dining Room unless I were wearing long pants and I always wear at least a sports coat on formal night. I blame Royal for not enforcing the suggested dress code better. When I sit there in a jacket looking at someone in shorts and a ballcap turned backward with his wife/girlfriend in a cover-up, both have flip flops on....I'm sorry, IMO, Royal should do something. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I traveled with a group of 12 with the average age being 30 years old. We typically do all inclusive resorts but were still interested in trying a cruise. After a 7 day on Symphony of the Seas we felt as if we were at a ... Read More
My wife and I traveled with a group of 12 with the average age being 30 years old. We typically do all inclusive resorts but were still interested in trying a cruise. After a 7 day on Symphony of the Seas we felt as if we were at a amusement park on a busy day. Always crowds of people, always waiting for extended periods of time for elevators as well as food and rarely a quiet time at night. The state rooms were small and tighter than I expected. It was hard to find open tables for breakfast and dinner in the windjammer. I always felt like I was going to bump into people wherever I went. Some positives include; the quality of food, the quality of cocktails and alcohol, and the service at dinner. The only place we had to wait to order drinks for a long period of time was Coo Coo Cay at the swim up bar. We enjoyed the variety of entertainment available nightly but again everyone was packed into events tightly. Lastly, I felt as if Royal Carribean is always trying to nickle and dime there customer. My wife and I and the group as a whole had already invested more money than I ever have on vacation before. The better amenities come at a upcharge to include; the specialty restaurants, basic internet, popcorn at nightly shows, wrist bands with your card attached, the entire water park at coo coo cay, the helium balloon rides and some mixed drinks. Overall, I am glad I checked it off of our bucket list. However, due to the overcrowding, the poor bang for a buck and the tight cabin space we will not be returning to RC. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Let me start by saying that my mother decided she wanted to go on the largest cruise ship in the world. It did not live up to the hype. One of the biggest disappointments was the food available on the ship. Dining room food was pretty ... Read More
Let me start by saying that my mother decided she wanted to go on the largest cruise ship in the world. It did not live up to the hype. One of the biggest disappointments was the food available on the ship. Dining room food was pretty awful. On the past 3 cruises with Royal Caribbean the food was very good. They really missed the mark this time. We did the “my time dining” which was a nice option because every night we ate at a different time. But every time we were in the dining room service was either rushed, or non existent. And most of the wait staff seemed terribly overwhelmed. Had dinner at wonderland which was the best meal of all that we had, chops grill meat quality was not up to par and we sent steaks back multiple times. They had a hard time getting it right. I was very annoyed at the pool set up, the pool in the solarium was tiny and always felt disgustingly dirty. Every time I looked for a bed to lay in they were always held by someone’s towels for the whole day, but rarely were those people actually using the bed. Signs everywhere that said chairs cannot be held, on cruising days all chairs near the pool and beds were claimed with a towel by 9am. Excursions were ridiculously overpriced. Room was always kept tidy and normal size for a stateroom. We had a balcony over looking Central Park which is an excellent room choice. However the beds were absolutely rock hard and had my back hurting after a couple nights. 1977 ice show was the best show we saw on the ship. They were phenomenal. After all the shows let out it was very hard to get an elevator, my father is disabled and had a scooter to use onboard. People literally pushed us out of the way to get on the elevators 90% of the time. Overall we still enjoyed the cruise but had better cruises in the past. For the money spent it just did not come close to meeting our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We stayed in Miami on Friday night at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon. Our group organizer chose this hotel...which was nice but offered no amenities. We had a free shuttle from the airport and that was it. The rate was $215 including ... Read More
We stayed in Miami on Friday night at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon. Our group organizer chose this hotel...which was nice but offered no amenities. We had a free shuttle from the airport and that was it. The rate was $215 including tax. Breakfast in the a.m. was $15 per person which was insane. There was a "market" and Starbucks in the lobby... to get some milk and a snack for the kids at breakfast was over $20. I wouldn't recommend this hotel based on cost and offerings but it was truly a nice property. We had a group of 23 cruising, so we hired a private shuttle to drive us from the hotel to the ship. This was a smooth process and we were inside the terminal within 30 minutes from leaving the hotel (including loading and unloading time). Embarkation was very smooth. We got there about 12:30 p.m. so it seemed as if most of the morning rush to get on the ship was through. Took about 10 minutes to complete check in, security and photos. We had connecting cabins (9310/9312) for our family of 4 which was SO nice! Our cabin stwerad came by and opened up the connecting interior rooms right away and also opened up the 4 balcony dividers that we had - giving our 4 family cabins a TON of outside space. The rooms were clean, cool, and very spacious! We had plenty of room between both cabuins - with 2 adults, 2 kids, 4 suitcases, all of our clothing, 2 strollers and a crib. Elvin was our cabin stweard and we LOVED him. He was so great with our 2 young boys. We ate most of our lunches in the Windjammer - it was crowded but we always manged to find tables for the 7 of us. The Mango juice and Strawberry Kiwi juice we DELICOUS! Food was always hot and had a great variety. Breakfast in the Windjammer on the first morning (day 2, sea day) was a JOKE! There was a line to get in that would have taken every bit of an hour to wait in. Luckily, we knew there were other breakfast venue's on board so we ate elsewhere. After the first full day, it seemed like everyone had figured out the different places to eat onboard, because we did manage to eat breakfast in the Windjammer most of the week with no issues. We had breakfast at Johnny Rockets one day and it was hot and fast and very good! Dinner every night was in the Main Dining Room - we had my time dining at 6:00 p.m. every night and due to the large size of our group (23) we had the same table reserved for us. Geia and Andy were our waiters and they were FANTASTIC! They made sure the kids had their milk and a fruit plate soon after we sat down every night. They also put the kisd order in right away and had their food out early so they were occupied during the long meal time. The food was hot, great and had tons of variety and options. The shows themselves were GREAT, PHENOMENAL! but the reservation and seating process were a joke! We had reservations for every show. Per the direction of the cruise line we arrived at the shows 15 minutes prior to show time...only to find each venue FULL! Not even 1 seat open. It seems as if they let the guests without reservations in at the 15 minute mark and then it became a free for all. Not very happy with the way RCL handles this. Every show we were left scrambling for seats. Even on the night we got there 30 minutes early. Seating for the shows was a complete disaster and disappointment. The photo department was a REAL negative part of the trip and it an area majorly lacking in service and convenience. The photographers were rushed while taking pictures. They didn’t take the time to pose us or even suggest how to stand. We had a 2 year old and a 4 year old with us and ended up just awkwardly holding them or standing grouped together for photos. My parents were watching us take a photo and yelled out to us to pull down our sons shirt because his belly was sticking out under his shirt - something you would think the photographer would have noticed before they started taking pictures. The real BAD issue with the photos was when it came time to order them... we had photos from the last formal night (night 6) that we wanted to see - but the photo shop didn’t open until 7 p.m. on the last night due to being in port at Coco Cay and that was the first and ONLY opportunity to see the photos from day 6. It was also the last time ANYBODY on board could buy photos (from 7-11 p.m.) so the photo area was a MAD HOUSE. Additionally, since we were traveling as a group, we had photos all over the place. They were on my cabin account, on my husbands cabin account, my parents account, aunts account - ect... the problem is you are only allowed to access the photos that are in your account. Therefore, I wasn’t able to buy or even SEE the group photos on the accounts of anybody else in the group we traveled with. I had photos of my grandparents with my kids that I couldn’t buy because they weren’t in my account. The photo manager could transfer photos from someone else’s account into mine, but all people in the photo needed to give their consent to do so... which was a joke. Photos were to be ready by 10:30 p.m. for pick up... went to get them and they weren’t ready. Photo center said they would deliver to cabin before the morning, we woke up - no pictures. I had to go back to the photo center and wait in line to pick up the photos I bought at 6 a.m. on disembarkation day. Not happy... My BIGGEST complaint is that there is no swimming pool on board where families with young kids are allowed to swim. We had a 2 year old with us who wears diapers, we had him in very nice swim diapers that our aquatic center at home requires us to wear into their pools. We were bombarded every 20 minutes by the lifeguards because we were in the main pool with him - not in the water but standing on the outside of the pool. The designated "kids pool" is a playground with splashing water. My kids hate being splashed and in the kids area there was no way around that. Additionally, my parents (60 years) cant just stand in the kids pool all day and watch the kids play. We all wanted to sit in the water and even float around in the pool to stay cool. For a cruise line that caters to families and offers on a regular basis "kids cruise free" they really do a poor job accommodating guests with young kids. Coco Cay was an absolutely AMAZING, truly perfect day. Beach chairs were a little hard to find... but eventually we all settled in and found some so it worked out. Everything about Coco Cay was wonderful. It's beautiful, clean, organized. The prices for the water park, cabanas and misc. excursions are too high, but we just didn't participate and stuck with the included things and had a great day. The shopping was OK, the stores sold the same stuff from hut to hut were pretty pricey ($25+ for a t-shirt) and the employees inside (locals) were all pretty rude... but it was nice to be able to get a few souvenirs to bring home. Overall a great cruise. A few things worth mentioning that we were unhappy with but mostly a good trip! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I chose this ship, because we love the Oasis class. Unfortunately they didn't raise the bar. The cabin was great. They made the balcony bigger, but at the expense of the tub. I am just under 6 feet tall, and they mad the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this ship, because we love the Oasis class. Unfortunately they didn't raise the bar. The cabin was great. They made the balcony bigger, but at the expense of the tub. I am just under 6 feet tall, and they mad the tub so narrow I couldn't stand in it without my feet being curved. It actually hurt to take a shower. The final day I had to stand with my feet together to take a shower. Also, the partial glass screen on the tub, is not attached. I almost did a header and fell out of the tub the fist time trying to get comfortable. Be careful . The public restroom was another miss, with a tall , small urinal. Again I am just under 6 feet tall, and I had to stand on my tiptoes to use the urinal. What were they thinking. Lets make a urinal that only 6 foot 6' people or taller can use. There were many puddles on the floor, and that's all I'll say. Then there was the food. Is it me, or is RCL buying cheaper and cheaper food? The food was terrible. I took a chance and tried a specialty restaurant, when the Coastal Kitchen had absolutely nothing on the Menu that night that my wife or I could stand. I paid extra to stay in the Junior Suite so I could eat there, and it was disappointing . I have had nothing but bad luck trying RCL's specialty restaurants. Trust me, there's nothing Special about them. My last cruise was on the Independence of the seas, and my wife and I tried the Specialty restaurant plan. What a waste of money. 2-3 hour waits. Rude service. The couple next to me complained, and was berated by the waiter. Awful food. We tried to cancel after the 3rd try, but was told we couldn't get a refund. We didn't care and lost the rest of our money. On the Symphony I tried Hooked. It was terrible. The service was fast and friendly, but I just couldn't stomach it. They started me off with this cheese biscuit. It was old, hard and had no taste. Then I was brought a crab and clam chowder. I was half way done, when I bit into something that sounded like either a shell or glass. I tried another bite with the same result, but found what I hoped was a shell. I stopped eating it. Then they brought me my shrimp cocktail, and it smelled funny almost like bleach. That was enough. I stopped and called over the waitress and told her I couldn't eat here and wanted a refund. I was then made to repeat everything 2 more times and grilled by the chef, but got the refund. The food is getting worse every year on RCL. So much so, That I am not going on another RCL cruise. Even the trusted pizza at Sorrento's was bad.I am now going on their sister company Celebrity , because the food is supposed to be a lot better , and they have a NON-SMOKING CASINO!!!. You can smell the smoke within 20 feet of the casino entrance. It's really bad, and they have a new drink policy that's horrible. If you earn 2400 points in a year you get free drinks in the casino. Now you can only get 1 drink every 10 minutes. Also the one staff complaint was that this was the only RCL cruise I've been on, where the bartenders were rude. The bar was open a few minutes before the casino and they were serving drinks. I went to the counter and asked for a drink, and they berated me, and told me I had to wait for the casino to open. When the casino opened, I went up to the counter again to ask for a drink, and the Bartender snapped at me that I had to wait until the casino was open. I pointed out to him that it was, He didn't believe me. I then pointed to people , right in front of us playing the slots, and all he said was "Oh'. then got my drink. Also I was ignored a lot by the Bartenders because I was Prime (Free Drinks), and I didn't have to pay for my drinks, and I guess there would rather wait on paying customers. I was ignored several times a day. It was really frustrating . It's like the new policy was invented to prevent you from wanting to get a drink. Well it worked. I usually lose a lot of money in the casino to get the points for the free drinks, and this is there new way of saying thanks? They really should have someone that is/was a guest to check out their designs,new policies and food before implementing them on new ships, that way they could avoid all these mistakes . RCL , Please upgrade the food. It's really bad when Kraft Mac & Cheese is 10X better than yours. On the good note, was the service. As usual the service was excellent. I have no complaints at all, except the Bartenders in the Casino. My room steward did a fantastic job, as so did the wait staff in the restaurants. I thought the Independence of the Seas was my least favorite ship, but Symphony comes very close. Hopefully they will see this, and improve everything, but i doubt it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have wanted to experience a cruise on the largest cruise ship in the world. Symphony of the Seas had planned a couple short voyages that fit the bill. I was able to book August 31, 2019 - September 3, 2019 and not miss a day of work ... Read More
I have wanted to experience a cruise on the largest cruise ship in the world. Symphony of the Seas had planned a couple short voyages that fit the bill. I was able to book August 31, 2019 - September 3, 2019 and not miss a day of work (off on Tuesdays and Fridays and this Monday was a holiday). Perfect! Then in the few days preceding this cruise, tropical storm Dorian became Hurricane Dorian. We were to depart Miami Saturday August 31st, spend Sunday September 1st in Nassau, a day at sea, then home. Many ships were having changes made to their schedule as the storm grew stronger. At 10pm Thursday I packed late, checked the RCCL website at 1am and saw my cruise was eliminated since the extended the August 24th cruise until Sept 4th. I cancelled my airline reservations just after that post. With an overwhelming feeling of disappointment, I went to sleep. By morning, to confirm this really happened, I looked at the website and to my surprise, no listing for my cruise. I called the helplines at RCCL. They found nothing. Luckily I screenshot the website and had it to email the representative. For 90 minutes he searched while I was on hold. Finally I got a text message with word the ship we depart early and be extended a day. I knew before the rep did! RCCL did an amazing job. I rebooked a new trip at the last minute (paying way too much) but I made it there. Embarkation: WOW. I handed a staff member my preprinted boarding passes, she scanned the barcode with her iPad and we walked to the ship. The keys are waiting for you at 1pm in your cabin door mail slot. We didn't much more than pause our walk to get scanned and we were on the ship in 10 minutes. NO WAY could this be easier or better. We went to Boleros to buy the WOW band. It was $5 and cool to have. It worked great as cabin door key, it was OK as a way to pay for drinks. Sometimes I just chose to use the card as it was easier to hand over. The readers in the bars worked ok most of the time but of course walking servers do not carry readers. Grabbed a Mojito to kick off the cruise by 11am. We dined for lunch at the Park Cafe - the Kummelweck roast beef sandwiches. Yes, they are as good as everyone says plus a nice custom bowl of salad. Delicious. Our room had good and bad. I am never one to complain. Room 14-577 was top of Central Park in the very front. Glad i tried it but I won't do it again. If you happen to book these neighborhood balconies, be aware that it is not like an ocean view. There is no privacy so your curtains will likely be closed all the time. Be aware that the 15th floor is the pool deck. You will hear foot stomps when kids run across that deck. While not bad at all, we did notice that. Be aware that in this cabin the ship's framing is a roofline just over your balcony so the great part is - always shady. I didn't care for keeping the key card inserted in a slot to keep lights and air on but I understand it's a good idea. Not a lot of normal TV to watch but who really cares to watch TV? The bed was extremely firm and our steward says they no longer offer the egg-crate pads, I also understand. We managed just fine. Plenty of room, plenty of storage, bigger shower than most ships too. But I will never choose 14th floor neighborhood balcony again. Oh it did include a bottle of red wine and two coke packages (refill cups). The shows? WOW. I have often thought NCL Epic had the natural win in this category but when I saw HAIRSPRAY, I loved everything about it. Then we saw FLIGHT and that was entertaining in a usual cruise ship show kind of way but well done with a mix of technology and live action. The ice show was 1977 and though I wonder what that year had to do with anything, there was excellent skating, beautiful costumes, and it all started amazing drones flying over the performance area giving us a light show. Loved it. Finally HIRO - what an amazing show. I would say that the price of the cruise was worth it just to see this show! Swimming, diving, dancing, arial performances, a lot like Cirque on overdrive. I am still blown away. Food. I would say it was good. Some of it was excellent, some just OK. I was shocked that the prime rib was just OK. I love prime rib. But the tenderloin and short ribs were outstanding. Salmon was better than OK but not the best. Lasagna was OK but not too good. I did order a beef stroganoff dish but sent it back because it was unlike any I had ever had...more like a pasta dish with a light brown garlic based gravy. Not a complainer - everything was edible and decent. But for the quantity served, it is still impressive. Early traditional seating is my choice. Always kind, if we wanted to rush to a show, they put us on fast pace. Wine was plentiful and they kept me with a drink at all times. Activity: WOW. Zip line - long wait for a short thrill but very cool to do. Abyss....long line and awesome anticipation for the thrill. Loved it - especially the que to actually get on the slide being all glass way up there. I ran out of time but would have body surfed the flowrider. Lines were not bad at all. PuttPutt was always in use and looks like fun. the court was half basketball half soccer. They all seemed to love it. I rode the carousel. It's been years since I had done that and well, it just makes me smile. Artwork. another WOW. Some cool stuff. A lot of weird things too. Loved the piano stairs. Didn't quite get the sound art and light art but OK. Plenty to see. Interactive art is always cool. The cruise director Ricky was fun. Led many street parties and works his tail off. They had a balloon drop at midnight day one, they had a Caribbean street party, an 80s party and a pirate parade. We sat in a sing along with a guitar player that was fun (crowd was a blast - singer was excellent). Saw a little piano playing in Schooner but I do tire of the same old 70s and 80s pop songs. Oh another cool thing on this ship is the stowaway piano player - he may be in an elevator (that's where we saw him) or anywhere on the ship at any time. Very cool!! Did I mention we were to be in Nassau on September 1st but Hurricane Dorian decided category 5 would just sit over the Bahamas and destroy...so RCCL sent us to Costa Maya Mexico instead. We were out of harms way, mostly in the hot sun. RCCL added a 4th day to our cruise so we had to get new airfare home but they didn't add any extra cost to our beverage package or Voom package. I think they actually gave us $50 On Board Credit too. I didn't care for Costa Maya but that's just me. I was glad to be there! We did not excursion there either. Just to add to controversy, I will tell you that in my opinion, all cruises should be non-smoking. I won't go in to a casino so long as there is smoking - so I didn't even visit it on this trip. Celebrity has no-smoking in their casinos. A different vibe for those of us that don't like the smell. But to each their own and I was just fine without it. I didn't plan to buy a NextCruise certificate but I did because this was my new favorite cruise. Finally getting off the ship - WOW. We chose late as possible because our flight was 12:30pm. We got tags #69 9:00am. Teh drink package still got us premium coffee drinks for free the day of departure. We waited it our in the Cafe Promenade. When we left the ship we walked into the terminal, chose our bag from the 100 or so still left there and walked to customs. No need to even bring out a passport of fill out the declaration papers...we walked up to an iPad that took our picture, waited a few seconds, got a green check mark and we were out to the taxi line. No more than a couple minutes to get in and no more than a couple minutes to get out. Way to go RCCL and US Customs! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were the cruise that no one was really sure we would be able to even take because of Hurricane Dorian! Royal Caribbean was AMAZING at communicating with us and letting us know the advantages of hanging in there with them and assured ... Read More
We were the cruise that no one was really sure we would be able to even take because of Hurricane Dorian! Royal Caribbean was AMAZING at communicating with us and letting us know the advantages of hanging in there with them and assured our safety so we decided to go ahead keep our reservation and take the cruise. This ship is the nicest ship we have ever had the pleasure of taking, We have taken many cruises on many different lines. We are now have Platinum Status on RC so we are trying to continue growing our reward level on this RCI ships and family. We absolutely LOVED every single part of this ship! The Rooms were the largest and spacious and beautiful. The ship is immaculate, the food was excellent, and the service was awesome! I cannot tell you how pleased I was with my experience! Royal Caribbean knocked it out of the park with this Ship and this Cruise. There really were so many differences to this cruise and this ship than so many others. It was just a way different class of ship than so many others! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was really excited to be on the biggest and newest cruise ship on Royal Caribbean. This was also my first time on Royal Caribbean even though I've been on many other vessels such as Carnival and Norwegian. Pros: it is beautiful ... Read More
I was really excited to be on the biggest and newest cruise ship on Royal Caribbean. This was also my first time on Royal Caribbean even though I've been on many other vessels such as Carnival and Norwegian. Pros: it is beautiful and enormous with many extravagant shows that are worth watching and very entertaining. The room is really nice and spacious as well as the bathrooms. Bar Service: bought the unlimited drinking package and definitely got my moneys worth but service was probably the worst. Quite a few times I've had to wait 30 minutes for a drink. Many bartenders would not even make eye contact with me to ask for a drink. I at times had to try and get their attention (not ideal and quite embarrassing). It wasn't at all bars though. The specific one that had the worst service was at Playmakers sports bar. Justin was the one that served me and many of my family members with mediocre service. Quite rude and intentionally ignored all of us. Pro: There was one server, named Greedep at Playmakers who was amazing! Service exceeded my expectations and food came on time. Very kind and welcoming. Pro tip: Go to Schooners bar and you will def get a good drink with good service as well. Best cosmos there! Main Dining Room: did not exceed my expectations. Felt very crowded and food was just okay. Everything was subpar except for service which was excellent. Overall the cruise was fun, lots of activities to do. For the adults, definitely recommend lounging at the solarium where it is relaxing with huge bath pools/jacuzzis. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 36th cruise and was the first time chased by a hurricane. The Captain of the ship was very informative as to how he was going to avoid the storm that was in the area. First we were told that we were not stopping at San ... Read More
This was our 36th cruise and was the first time chased by a hurricane. The Captain of the ship was very informative as to how he was going to avoid the storm that was in the area. First we were told that we were not stopping at San Maartin, and that were we going to CoCoCay as an alternate stop, then when that island was threatened, we were going to stop at Nassau, Bahamas. We made it back to Miami at 1:30am Saturday morning. For the inconvenience they did refund one day costs for each passenger. Embarkation: The terminal in Miami is a brand new terminal and there are videos out on the web showing how easy it was to get in. I don't know what time they arrived at the port but we arrived at 10:30am and not only was the traffic horrendous but the first 5 levels of the parking garage were filled to capacity. Speaking of the garage, you had to go up to level 4 to drop off your luggage and then park your car, take an elevator down to the main level then once inside the terminal take an escalator back up to the ship's gangway. For those who need handicapped parking spots, they have them in the vicinity of the elevators on each level. Most ports we sailed out of, we dropped of the luggage on the ground floor and take an escalator up once. This up and down flow didn't make any sense. Once inside the terminal there seem to be confusion as to where to check in. One person told us to go to one area, another told us to go to another area. They now take your picture with hand held devices like an iPad. There was no order as to waiting on a line, people were just jumping to the next available agent. There are some things that still need to be worked out with the check in process. By the way, NCL is building a new terminal right next to Royal's. With just one single lane going by both terminals, it is going to be a nightmare getting to them. This was the opinion of the people who work there. SHIP: There are some changes to this ship that are different from the other Oasis ships. First, the Park Cafe on Deck 8 was expanded to accommodate more people. The biggest change we saw was to the Solarium. They made the area on Deck 14 smaller and there are no longer pools there, only seating. On deck 15 there are two hot tubs and one small pool. The pool was much smaller than the other Oasis ships have. The only way to get into the Solarium Bistro is via the inside lobby. There are doors to get out but you are told to enter thru the lobby area. Speaking of the Solarium, they needed to do a better job keeping children out of the area. There were several times people were asked to leave the area. Overall, the ship was the same as the other Oasis ships so there wasn't any new WOW factor. In fact this ship was the same as the Harmony except for the Park Cafe and Solarium areas. They added a new seafood restaurant on deck 16. As for the pools on deck 15, they are really small. if 25-30 people are in them it will seem crowded. There are three such pools on this deck. Definitely not enough pool capacity for over 5,000 passengers. They could have made larger pools by eliminating some of the hot tubs. Another feature which was eliminated was the information you can obtain in your cabin like the dinner menus, your itinerary from the cabin TV. You could only obtain this info from your phone. The dinner menus usually are displayed outside the dining rooms but this ship did not have any displays to show them. Entertainment : They had two excellent comedians that were very funny. Shows that are a must see are 1977 (ice show) and Flight Dare to Dream. This was a musical of the history of aviation throughout time. The ending will WOW you but I will not spoil it by saying what is was. As for the diving show in the Aqua Theatre, it was boring and repetitive to what we saw on the other Oasis ships. If it is the first time you will see it, then then go but if you've seen it before don't bother. As usual they had entertainment in the Promenade that is worth seeing. If you have children, they Adventure Ocean for different age groups was a wonderful area for your children to enjoy. Unfortunately, this area wasn't utilized as it should have been. There were a lot of foreign guests who seem not to use this venue. They had Laser Tag in Studio B, but you must have reservations. Dining: The food in the Windjammer was average at best. It seems the variety of the food did not change from day to day. Only the meat they served changed. They was one day they closed the second serving stations when we were at sea. We couldn't understand that logic since the place was very crowded. Except when we were in port, it was always a challenge to find seating. The Park Cafe was a very popular spot to get away from the crowds. If you will be looking for omelets, you find not find them in the Windjammer. You will have to go to either the Main Dining room, Johnny Rockets or El Loco Fresh on deck 15 by the sports complex. On other ships this was called "Wipeout". We had My Time dining and at 8:00pm seemed to be the busiest hour. Lines were almost out the door trying to get seating. You may want to book your time earlier than 7:30 to be on the safe side. We actually had the same waiter we had on the Harmony. He played his guitar and sang for the guest near the area where he serviced people. That's the first time in all our cruises that has happened. In speaking to some people who were long time Royal cruiser, we all felt the quality of the food and service have diminished in the dining rooms. It seems we are being forced to go to the restaurants that you have to pay for. Ports of Call: We were supposed to visit St. Maarten, San Juan and Labadee. However, due to the storm we visited San Juan, Labadee and Nassau, Bahamas. Been to all three several times so we didn't get off the ship. Royal Caribbean should do something with Labadee. It's boring and you have to listen for HOURS to these so called "musicians" banging away on their "drums". At one point one of the local restaurants turned up the music to drown out the drums. We were really looking forward to visiting CoCoCay but the storm prevented us from doing so. Debarkation: We took our own luggage and walked off the ship which occurred at 6:15 am. People were actually on line at 5:00am. They do not require to fill out the Declaration of items you may have bought and they now have many stations with cameras to confirm your identity. The process was well organized and the staff was informative, unlike the ones during the Embarkation process. However, you needed to take an elevator up the the level you were parked at. When there are hundreds or thousands of passengers in the need of an elevator, that could cause quite a wait for one. Luckily we were one of the first ones off the ship so it wasn't bad. Overall impression: It seems Royal Caribbean is attracting a lot for foreigners. At times it was a little difficult finding guests who spoke English. The ship is very similar to the Harmony of the Seas and there were some differences but not enough to impress you if you sailed on the other Oasis class ships. If you choose My Time dining, it would be best to reserve a time before 7:30pm. The crew on board was very friendly. The ship was very clean except for some of the bathrooms. One observation over the past couple of cruises is that Royal’s clientele seems to be changing and it shows. We originally cruised with Carnival and switched to Royal to get away from the clientele they had. It used to be that Royal attracted middle aged people now it seems to be the same crowd Carnival attracts. People were hanging their belongings on the interior balconies of the ship and it looked like a ghetto. These same people were rude and didn’t control their children from running around the ship. We have one more cruise planned on Royal later this year, if we run into the same type of crowd, we will be seeking other cruise lines in the future. This will be unfortunate since we are close to being Diamond Plus members. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
ARRIVAL 1)We arrived at 12.30pm and it was straight through and onto the ship. We were sent to The Windjammer Buffet. It was absolutely heaving with people and after a 45 minute wait for a table, our food (which we had to get first) was ... Read More
ARRIVAL 1)We arrived at 12.30pm and it was straight through and onto the ship. We were sent to The Windjammer Buffet. It was absolutely heaving with people and after a 45 minute wait for a table, our food (which we had to get first) was cold. It wasn’t pleasant. It was elbow to elbow at the tables to eat. COMFORT 1)The Mattress on our bed was rock hard so didn’t sleep well. 2)Not enough seating around the ship for the volume of passengers. 3)Lots of noisy drunk passengers at 2am on 3 nights and they were allowed to continue waking up passengers and the crew did nothing to stop them. 4)Lots of uncomfortable queueing for everything onboard - food, drinks, toilets and entertainment. Virtually everything. 5)Impossible to watch the shows as the staff kept letting other people continuously into each audience and constant walking in front of us. 6)The ship docked at 2.16am on Saturday 31st August and the noise from everyone involved in the docking woke us up and we couldn’t get back to sleep and this was before a several hour, long journey home. HEALTH AND SAFETY 1)Smoking was allowed in the Casino on the ship which bellowed cigarette smoke into the Main Dining area. 2)One of the other buffet areas had another smoking area near to the swimming pool so it was pretty much the same experience. This is especially not good for babies and children breathing this in whilst in the pool. Or pregnant women, the elderly or ill. We found this very unpleasant. 3)Staff constantly mopping and passengers having to be careful walking on wet floors. 4)The ship can clearly not cope with over 5,000 passengers as everywhere we went people accidentally bumped into each other - couldn’t be helped under the squashed elbow to elbow circumstances. An extremely serious health and safety issue. 5)Lifts were continually full and had elbow to elbow people in them. Another serious health and safety issue. We had to take the stairs on several occasions. SWIMMING POOLS 1)Too crowded and we were unable to use them. INFINITY POOL 1)Was able to use it once - too crowded otherwise. JACUZZI 1)Was able to use one of them on one occasion - too crowded otherwise. CRUISE FOOD 1)Poor. We are used to excellent food (and a good selection on cruises) but didn’t experience it on this cruise. 2)The ship clearly struggles coping with the volume of passengers and there were long 30-45 minute queues at all eating places. 3)We decided we would try Jamie’s and pay extra as it was quieter in Central Park. They told us that they could get lobster for us from the main dining area as they had run out in their restaurant. We declined and ate in the main dining area. Why pay for the same thing? What a cheek. 4)Several mistakes made throughout the week with our food orders in The Main Dining Room. Long waits to be served. More examples of them not coping with the volume of passengers. DRINKS 1)There should be more cold drinks available throughout the ship but there are not. Or at least people coming round with trays of cups of water. Instead everyone had to queue at the bars for an excessive time or walk a fair distance to the complimentary drinks areas in the heat. 2)There were mistakes made on our drinks orders in the main dining area and we were charged. Had to speak to guest services to get it refunded and that involved more sessions of queueing at guest services with other disgruntled passengers for long periods of time. STATEROOM 1)The mattress was hard and uncomfortable which provided poor sleep and stiffness. 2)The steward did not introduce himself to us at any time. We had to introduce ourselves to him, once we had worked out who he actually was. ENTERTAINMENT 1)We had booked to see all the shows on board. On the first evening of our cruise we queued for nearly an hour, to be seated. The audience had drinks orders taken and then the Cruise Director announced the show was cancelled. He seemed to think it funny - we were not impressed. He was dreadful at his job throughout. 2)The timings of all our shows booked were moved around constantly throughout the week (at the last minute) which encroached on our other plans. 3)Bad customer service. We were appalled. CHANGE OF ITINERARY 1)Constant last minute changes of Itinerary. 2)The communication with passengers about the changes was absolutely inadequate by the Captain and his staff. 3)We had to continually queue at Guest Services to find out what was happening. 4)Dreadful Customer Service and communication. MISSED PORTS/SHORTENED VISITS 1)Saint Maarten was cancelled. 2)We had half a day in Puerto Rico. 3)We had a day in Laberdee (a resort). Food was poor. Not enough to go round. Toilets were in a dreadful condition by mid afternoon with loo roll piled high and over flowing out of the bins by the loos. 4)We had half a day in Nassau with nothing to do as our excursion was changed without us being told. 5)Didn’t receive what we paid for throughout. Extremely disappointed. EXCURSIONS 1)Our excursions were constantly moved around. Communication with passengers about the changes was absolutely inadequate. 2)We had to constantly queue at Guest Services for refunds on excursions. 3)We had booked an Excursion to go to The Blue Lagoon in Nassau on the last day and it was changed to 8am without us being told. Yes we had a refund but we missed the opportunity of seeing somewhere really lovely on our last day due to bad customer service and had to queue yet again for a refund. VOOM/GUEST SERVICES 1)When we expressed our disappointment to Guest Services re lack of communication to us, we were told to check out information on the app. Yes we had the Royal Caribbean app but we needed VOOM (the internet) to be able to use it, which would have involved extra expense. 2)Why couldn’t the captain and his staff have just kept everyone updated on tv screens or via the tannoy system? 3)Appalled. Dreadful customer service and lack of communication with passengers. ROYAL CARIBBEAN WEBSITE 1)One day before our holiday was due to finish, many passengers read that Royal Caribbean announced on their website that we were going to be taken to Mexico and not returned to Miami until Wednesday 4th September. Many passengers changed their flights and other plans. I have a copy of this information. 2)The Captain and his crew went quiet over this website announcement and when we queued (yet again) and asked at Guest Services, they wouldn’t say what was happening. 3)This left us feeling anxious and with uncertainty. 4)It was only when we were woken up by noise at 2.16am (on the last day of our holiday) that we realised we were in Miami. 5)We had suffered dreadful worry and anxiety that we would not have had to experience if customer communication had been adequate. An announcement over the tannoy would have been enough to put everyones minds at rest but the Captain and his crew buried their heads in the sand. WOULD WE USE ROYAL CARIBBEAN AGAIN? No we wouldn’t. We are avid cruisers and did not get what we paid for. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
One of the most important things a lot of folks do not do, is not to book their shows, tours and restaurants well in advance and wait to do it when they get on ship and that is when issues come up. My wife booked everything about 2 months ... Read More
One of the most important things a lot of folks do not do, is not to book their shows, tours and restaurants well in advance and wait to do it when they get on ship and that is when issues come up. My wife booked everything about 2 months in advance . We had my time dinning, waited maybe 3-4 minutes and were seated. The tickets for our tours or shows were on bed waiting for us. Embarkation; stood in line about 10 minutes; all our paper work was in order; checked in about 4 minutes and off to the gangway we went. Having sailed on Allure and Harmony we were on another fanatic ship. My favorite things to do on ship were zip line, Abyss and perfect storm water slides and of course the merry go round. Aqua show was great; I like sitting in first row on wooden benches, you get a little wet, but the more you laugh the wetter you get. Great place to sit if you have kids. There were 4 kids sitting near me and they had a ball getting wet. Ice show is another great show, make sure you bring a jacket it gets a little cold at ice skating ring. We found if you get there early; when you walk in go to the right down to first row of seats in front of ice skating ring about mid way, great seats. If you like Broadway Shows my wife highly recommends " Hair Spray" Our favorite bar is the Schooner Bar. Another neat bar is the Rising Tide Bar which brings you from promenade up to Central Park. The drinks are price e so if you drink a lot get the beverage package, example a ice downed rum and coke is $10.00 There is some great music at bars and shows, but they always turn volume all the way up, so if loud music hurts your ears bring ear plugs. We had My Time Dinning, the food was good and service was great. We also ate at Chops Grill,. again food and service were great. We also ate at Hooked Seafood, service was great but food was ok. You can also get breakfast and lunch in solarium but check times by the doors. We had breakfast in main dinning room made to order which was good. And of course the Windjammer Marketplace, yes it is crowed but you will find a seat and the food is good; some breakfast foods are cold but what do expect cooking for 6000 people ,Central Park is a great place to hang out and have a drink or 2 in the evening with that special person. Take time to read the Cruise Compass ever day because it tells you where and when things are happening on ship. Our room was clean and in order when we arrived and kept that way thru whole cruise and if we needed something our stateroom attendant would make it happen. We talked to many crew members first asking them where they were from and that would open the conversation. We found crew members very polite and down to earth folks just like us. The night before disembarkation we left our bags in hall way to be picked up in morning. We were flying out of Fort Lauderdale and chose to book a bus thru RC. There are 2 buses, one at 7:30 AM and one at 8:30 AM. We were told to meet in Royal Theater and when you tag number is called follow crew member to disembark. It was 8:00 AM and they did not call our number yet so my wife said lets go with the next group because we still had to clear customs. We got our bags and headed to customs, what a surprise, stood in front of screen; if your picture was of you agent said your good to go. Its it good thing we left early because the bus left at 8:20 AM. You might even consider using UBER. "Get out there" Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had seen this ship while we were on another cruise, and were amazed by the size. We booked a stateroom, knowing we would pay a premium because it is so we. The nightly entertainment is incredible. The full production of Hairspray is ... Read More
We had seen this ship while we were on another cruise, and were amazed by the size. We booked a stateroom, knowing we would pay a premium because it is so we. The nightly entertainment is incredible. The full production of Hairspray is amazing, and the Hiro Show was spectacular. Pros: Gorgeous ship, like a Miami hotel. Very friendly staff. Lots of specialty restaurants. Very nice app that allows you to see your schedule. AmIng entertainment in the evening. They are VERY serious about hand washing, and everyone Moves through a handwashing station before they go in to the food area. During the day there are a lot of options for food that is included in the price of the cruise. Great adults on the area at the front of the ship. Cons: Room 14-723 is under the Flowrider attraction. At night the water that is stored for the attraction sloshes loudly, dampening an otherwise great stateroom experience. There is barely anything to eat after 11:00pm. If you are used to the open buffets and little food places on Carnival, you won’t find that here. Although there are a number of restaurants, most of them close after 10 or 11 PM, leaving one small place on the main deck. It has a very limited selection of sandwiches and some desserts. We always enjoyed the option of having ice cream and pizza or hotdogs on carnival, the ship does not have any of that available late night. We also enjoyed trivia, but the place where they have the trivia is called the honor bar, it has very limited seating, probably less than 50 people can fit in there. This does not work for a ship that contains over 7000 passengers. So we often find ourselves with nothing to do on the ship, and we head back to the room and just read. It seems like the smaller ships have a lot more options for food and activities during the day, I simply don’t wanna look at overpriced diamonds and watches all day, I want other things to do. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are in our early 50s with a 13 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. We just achieved Emerald with Royal. Full cruising history (Celebrity, HAL, Disney, Princess, Carnival) - is in the signature. We flew from Toronto to FLL on ... Read More
We are in our early 50s with a 13 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. We just achieved Emerald with Royal. Full cruising history (Celebrity, HAL, Disney, Princess, Carnival) - is in the signature. We flew from Toronto to FLL on Air Transat via Pearson airport. Pearson was a bit of a disaster. The new (to us) luggage scanning drop-off system kept malfunctioning and the lineup was huge. We arrive at the airport for 5:30 with two hours to spare for our 7:40 flight. We have NEXUS so we felt two hours was appropriate - and even with the delays - we were fine. Others got caught in the delays and they held our flight for 40 minutes to wait for 5 families. We decided we would try UBER for the first time. The arrival started with someone approaching me and asking if we were getting an UBER - I said yes. He asked us to follow him. It was all very shady and did not give me a good feeling. We followed him ot the parking garage and despite lots of uncertainty, we loaded our luggage. I got in the car and it reaked of smoke. We took our luggage back and left and then proceeded to order our UBER. As UBER newbies, we were a little unclear on where to stand and of course, we were in the wrong spot. Our ride arrived and he kept calling me and just kept repeating his name and the vehicle he was driving. His English was poor and there was so much background noise I could barely hear him. Finally found an airport worker who pointed out the correct area (to the far left when you get out of the terminal) and we found our driver . We got to Terminal A at the Miami Cruiseport and everything went smoothly. We arrived around 12:30 and there were no traditional lineups by cruise status. We went to a line for those who already had a set sail pass, and there was no one in line. We went straight to an agent who scanned our set sail pass - and we were sent on the ship straight to our stateroom where the keycards were waiting for us with immediate access to our stateroom. It was the smoothest embarkation ever. A few random thoughts about our sailing, scroll down to the subject headings that interest you. Wine - we had two staterooms and brought 4 bottles of wine onboard. I bought wine travellers off Amazon. I am happy to link the ones I bought, if requested. I have to admit I was a bit nervous. The wine all went in my son's suitcase. His clothes were all packed in packing cubes (bought those off Amazon too). The packing cubes all went in clear recycling bags. The wine was placed in the wine traveller and each wine traveller was placed in a large ziploc bags, and then the four bottles in ziploc bags were placed in a super-large ziplock storage bag. I admit that I went a little overboard but better safe than sorry. I was also smart enough to pack a wine-carrier from the LCBO. At the airport, we pulled the bottles out of the suitcase and into the LCBO wine carrier. It made it easy to carry the 4 bottles on board. Security did a full examination on the wine bottles. And also wanted to see our documentation to prove that we had 2 cabins and that there was an adult in each cabin. This has never been verified before, so I'm glad we had an adult in each cabin. Cabins – we had two cabins Deck 7 starboard AFT. I was pleasantly surprised at how spacious the cabins were and how much storage space there was. On the left of the bed, were some shelves and room to hang clothes. On the right of the bed was a full length close. There was also a dresser. We had more than enough room. First time ever, we took the over-the-door organizer and didn’t need it. The Key - we did not have the KEY - but I found the program quite annoying to someone who did not have it. For shows in the main theatre, almost the entire center balcony was taken up and reserved for Key and Suite guests. Same thing in Studio B. Drink package - I pre-ordered Refreshment Packages for DH and the kids. Cards were printed indicating that they had the refreshment package. I did not set the kids up with charging privileges on their seaspass and this seemed to be quite problematic. Their first purchase was coffees at cafe promenade. We were told we had to open the sea pass. We went to guest services and their seas passes were opened. Then we went to the Vitality Spa - and again they had problems. I went back to guest services and a good lineup had started. I was playing broken telephone between the person triaging the line and the manager. She kept insisting the kids needed charging privileges. I finally had to insist the manager came out to see me, and then he set up their kids with a $1.00 charging privilege. The next morning I was back in line again because of problems and this time the charging privilege was raised to $10. The next morning, I had issues once more and had to go to guest services. This time they involved the head of beverage services who confirmed that a minimum $15.00 limit was need in order for the drink packages to work. This made absolutely no sense to me. We've had drink packages on Celebrity and the kids have never had a problem while not having charging privleges. This time, Guest Services took pity on me and we were given a generous future cruise gift certificate. The $15 limit appeared to be the magical solution and we had no problems after that. Chops - we received a complimentary dinner voucher from our travel agent, which we used at Chops on night 5. I had pre-trip questions about menus - we knew from the menus on the app that we wanted to miss the night 5 menu. At embarkation, we went to the MDR to check on menu order. We were told that the menus on the app were accurate, however the order would go 1,2,4,3,5,6,7. In the end, the menu order followed exactly as per the app and nights 3 and 4 were never switched. CHOPS was excellent and we all thoroughly enjoyed our meal. I was surprised at the number of kids, especially young kids, so this is far from an "adult" dining venue (yes, says the lady with two kids of her own!). My son were shorts on the understanding that if they turned him away he had to come back to the cabin and change. There was one man in a tux, but most men were fairly casual, with some men in t-shirts and casual shorts, and several men with baseball caps on. Casino: Blackjack is my game and $10 hands are my preference. There were usually two $10 tables playing multi-deck and one $10 table playing single deck. The $10 table did not allow you to take even money on a blackjack - you need to play at a $15 for that. Payouts on the $10 tables were also lower for blackjacks. Although there is a non-smoking side, the casino was generally pretty smoky - which gives Celebrity the edge for me. Dress Code - the dress code was far from enforced. On formal night, I saw plenty of cut-off jeans, shorty-shorts, hoodies and printed t-shirts. DH and DS did not wear suits on this cruise (which they were both happy about!) Both wore dress shirts and dress pants on formal night. DS (12) wore shorts and button-down short sleeve shirts most nights, although one night, he did a late arrival at the MDR wearing an ADIDAS t-shirt and although annoyed, I could hardly blame him given what most kids his age were wearing. Fitness - I can't recall if most ships are laid out the same way, but the jogging track is on DECK 5, and I happy to say I visited EVERY morning. I love the covered track as opposed to walking in the hot sun. Each day I logged between 19K and 20K steps. DS (12) had no problem accessing the fitness centre. He looks older than 12 and no one ever sought to verify his age. Perfect Day Waterpark- I had started a thread a few weeks ago regarding the waterpark – and the fine print stating that kids under 18 needed adult accompaniment. Well, that was much ado about nothing!!! I should clarify that my 12 year old is 5’9” and my 13 year old is 5’5”. My son looks at least 16 and my daughter could probably pass for 18. We stood at a distance and watched them try to gain access to the park with their VOUCHER ticket. They were told they needed the sea pass. They came back to me for their seapass. They scanned their seaspass and gained access to the park no problem. DH and I were both grateful not to have to purchase a ticket to the waterpark. For anyone little kids, there is a nice free waterpark area that would probably satisfy most kids up to maybe 8 – so don’t feel pressured to purchase tickets if your kids are young (or are not Thrillseekers). My kids both loved the waterpark. I had purchased full day tickets, but it was a hot one and they were both ready to call it by 12:30 - so in the future I would opt for a half-day pass. Quince Cruise- this was the much-debated (thread eventually closed) cruise. I did find the numerous large groups to be off-putting and will leave it at that. The most annoying part was 3 members of a group trying to hold down 20 seats in the theatre. We had one quince group on our floor and I have to say they were sometimes loud and inconsiderate, especially at 1AM in the morning – yelling and screaming in the hallway. I have no idea why, but formal night started for them at 7AM in the morning. I felt for the poor girls fully decked out in hair and make-up and full crinolin dresses. Entertainment. It was days into our cruise before I had any idea who the cruise director was - probably not until Hairspray. It was an installation of a new cast for Hairspray. The first show had two or three delays due to technical difficulties (one of which was a cast injury). My daughter (has seen hairspray in Toronto, on Oasis twice, watched hairspray the musical and hairspray live more times than she knows - watched it 3 times on this cruise. The second show went off without a hitch and the third show also had technical difficulties. We really liked 1977 and Flight and Hiro were also great. Comedy - Simeon Kirkilies is freaking HILARIOUS. Loved his Trump impressions. He should be the headliner - heck they should make him cruise director and give him his own ship. If he ever visits Toronto, I would gladly pay money to see him. WIFI - we purchased VOOM Surf and Stream for 4 devices. For some reason, our phones kept logging off everytime the phone shut-off - despite toggling auto-join. Must be an apple issue though. I found the WIFI slower than expected. I tried downloading a few shows off our home PVR and it took forever - although had no trouble watching shows from our PVR. Instagram and Facebook were slow to refresh, and often showed the refresh sign instead of updated content. To me, this should not happen with VOOM. Sometimes, logging on and off again seemed to fix the problem. It's still night and day better than Celebrity's WIFI. MY TIME DINING - we had reservations every night, and most nights we ended up in a lineup waiting almost 30 minutes to be seated. The front of the house seemed to be a bit flustered and not entirely in command of the seating process. There were two distinct lines for guests with reservations and guests without. However, one could bypass those lines and walk straight to the second or third podiums where they would get attended to. The set-up made no sense to me. MDR Food - overall we thought the food quality has improved, especially in the area of desserts. Debarkation – we had a flight home from MIA on Sunwing. Our flight was originally scheduled for 2:30 and eventually they cancelled it and connected us to a 4PM flight from Orlando to Toronto. I realize now that sunwing has a habit of cancelling/rescheduling and will not book with them again. We generally book early flights which has us taking off our own luggage at 7:30. This time, we had the luxury of time, so we stayed on the ship until 9:30. It was CHAOS at the terminal. Getting off the ship was easy enough, although we stood in line for a while. There was a special line for Canadian passport holders with almost no lineup. Then we got outside and it was chaos . We were unsure of where to stand for an UBER, and I was to cheap to incur roaming charges, so we decided to just get a taxi, and the line was CRAZY. Royal does nothing to manage the taxi line. There was a port worker at the front of the line. I’m not sure what his job was, but he kept saying it was not his job to fight with anyone, although he picked fights with at least two taxi drivers and kicked them out. Passengers were rudely bypassing the line, and taxis were being picked off at the back o the line while others were patiently waiting. We were not in rush, and other than the extreme heat being an issue, we were resigned to just wait our turn. The area should be roped off and the port authority needs more people managing the line. It took us an hour to get a taxi. Keep this in mind if you have a flight to catch. Overall it was a great cruise – probably our best yet on Royal. I would gladly sail Symphony again on a better itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As Diamond Members needless to say we've been on a few cruises with Royal Caribbean. The Symphony of the Seas while an incredible piece of engineering and shipbuilding cannot be recommended for 50+ couples. There's simply no ... Read More
As Diamond Members needless to say we've been on a few cruises with Royal Caribbean. The Symphony of the Seas while an incredible piece of engineering and shipbuilding cannot be recommended for 50+ couples. There's simply no place to have a quiet romantic drink or relaxed meal with perhaps the exception of 150 Park. Everything else is loud, energetic and of mediocre quality. All full disclosure however is in order. We more recently have sailed 14+ on Celebrity and Cunard with 8 crossings in past 10 years including Seabourn; these have all been suites. so we are a bit jaded. Ship - new huge and amazing...and overwhelming Cabin - a Junior Suite was excellent size but bathroom showerless except in the tub; not worth the money. Dining - very mediocre to poos in Main Dinning Room; food served tepid or cold. Some dishes were misrepresented. E.g. Steak Dianne. Wonderland more hype than quality. Izumi average at best and over priced. 150 Park nice prepared and real value; don't offer non-ordered items-makes it seem you are begging for compliments. Good wine lists. p Entertainment - this is where the Symphony excels be it musicals, ice shows, or aquatics. Lounge acts were fair with the roving pianist the best. Service - Excellent except in the bars....slow and slower. Ports - St. Maarten, San Juan, and Labadee---dont leave the beaches. Labadee was a disappointment. Poor signage and food options. The "local" market was an aggressive Valley of the Vendors. Cabanas at Nellie's Beach were great with awesome service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Cruise Fare indicates and sales representatives state that complimentary ice tea, lemonade, and ice cream are available 24 hrs a day through out the ship. This is not true. This ship does not provide any complimentary drinks or ice cream ... Read More
Cruise Fare indicates and sales representatives state that complimentary ice tea, lemonade, and ice cream are available 24 hrs a day through out the ship. This is not true. This ship does not provide any complimentary drinks or ice cream after 9:15 pm. There are only two complimentary eating places which both are located on deck 5. One cannot hang out on top decks, watch a movie at the aqua theater, relax in Central Park or the solarium with access to complimentary drinks. If you want food you have to traverse to deck 5 and obtain pizza or a sandwich and only water to drink. This is totally unacceptable and is a deciding factor in our family never booking with RCI again. NOTE: I made my complaint directly to the Captain on the day 2 meet and greet opportunity. By the afternoon of day 3 a dispenser of tea and lemonade was made available at the pizza place on deck 5. When asked if I was satisfied I responded with a question of whether or not that service would be provided to the next cruise. In other words was there a policy change or was I just being satisfied? I received a non-verbal response which indicated no. This was in fact the case as the tea and lemonade dispensers were removed on the night of day 7 and replaced with water dispensers. There are no tea or lemonade dispensers available at the Mexican eatery on deck 15, nor at the Hot Dog stand on deck 6. Really? This is not first class service but an attempt to force one to purchase an beverage card. It is deceitful as well as marketing resources indicate otherwise. We can take our business to other cruise lines and if the industry as a whole converts to this practice then we will discontinue cursing and expand our land vacations. The nickel and dime-ing of services must stop or the cruise industry is going to suffer financially. RCI's self damming practices are why we don't invest in cruise companies. But we do invest in Coca-Cola's tea and lemonade! :) Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My trip with Royal Caribbean was a nightmare. The food was nasty and mediocre. Breakfast and dinner were terrible. Service at the cavin was terrible too. There's no shampoo and conditioner in the bathroom. This will be the last ... Read More
My trip with Royal Caribbean was a nightmare. The food was nasty and mediocre. Breakfast and dinner were terrible. Service at the cavin was terrible too. There's no shampoo and conditioner in the bathroom. This will be the last time I waste my money on Royal Caribbean. In the whole week I never see the captain he never show up this is very discourteous. Prices at the ice-cream parlor were very high. They charged me for the taxi that others cruice companies don't charge. YOU should pick better chefs otherwise you'll lose passengers. This ship needs a remodelation prices are very high for what we get. At the breakfast restaurant the floor was derty needs more cleaning. I won't recommend this cruise company to any of my friends. Stay away from Royal Caribbean. Tours at the island were expensive and the owners of the stores at the ship try to take advantage of the travelers. You should control that. If someone give me a free ticket I don't accept it. Ofelia Debruzos Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this ship for a family cruise (10 people) because I had been on other Royal Caribbean ships. The door to the handicapped accessible cabin was automatic if you were able to put your key card over the reader an turn the handle. ... Read More
I chose this ship for a family cruise (10 people) because I had been on other Royal Caribbean ships. The door to the handicapped accessible cabin was automatic if you were able to put your key card over the reader an turn the handle. In order to exit the room I was told to push a mechanism over the door. This was an impossibility while seated on a scooter n On other Royal. Caribbean ships I had found stand alone handicapped restrooms that someone could enter to assist me. On this ship I found the accessible restrooms in the back of the regular restroom. The location made it difficult to enter and leave while riding a scooter. The main dining room was very crowded. The chairs on each side of the table were either touching a wall or the back of the chairs at the next table. My husband had to climb into his chair because it backed into a post and couldn’t be moved. Our waiter and his helper did a wonderful job despite the fact they had a difficult time serving us. We told them we were family and didn’t mind passing food. As far as Coco Cay was concerned I found it very handicapped unfriendly. There were few concrete paths and most things were located on the sand. I could not go to the little shops because they were in the sand. I got food at the barbecue place and then could not sit at a table because they were all on the sand. There were few places with shade that did not have be gotten to by walking in the sand. The photographers took many pictures and in them they wanted us to give the thumbs up sign. I really wanted to give a thumbs down sign but did not do so because I knew they were only doing what they had been told to do. We found the ship very noisy. The only way we could attend the shows was by wearing earplugs. It was impossible to have a conversation in most of the lounges because the noise level was very high. Many activities occurred on deck five and many times it was impossible to get through on a scooter. People would be texting or walking backwards. When I saw them heading toward me I would stop. When they ran into me they would be very rude and blame me. I am sorry to say that the asymphony of the Seas was a great disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Symphony of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.2
Family 5.0 4.2
Enrichment 3.0 3.9
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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